a winter bouquet

by Sharon Santoni

DSCF2305[white][white]Outside it is growing grey and damp and as the weekend approaches, I long to fill the house with flowers [white][white]P1000749[white][white]These magnificent amaryllis look great in a big vase, but if I want them to fill a bigger spaces, then I add them to foliage and a few dots of pink, here raununculus, and spread them over several vases[white][white]DSCF2303           [white][white]Voilà!  Hope you like them, and that you’re having a good weekend[white][white]DSCF2299[white][white]PS. you don’t have to be polite about the photos, I’m still getting to know the new camera and … well, some days are better than others![white][white]


Emm November 23, 2013 - 4:18 pm

Beautiful flowers. Is it my non-photographer’s imagination, or is the focus slightly softer with this new camera? There’s an impressionistic quality that I don’t recall earlier, and the light looks different.
*fiddles with monitor settings*

Linda Quast November 23, 2013 - 5:11 pm

Beautiful photos! I love the various shades of pink.

Have a wonderful weekend,


Nancy November 23, 2013 - 6:43 pm

Those amaryllis are gorgeous and I really like them with the ranuncs. You are lucky to be able to buy flowers reasonably priced at this time of year, not so much where I live.

Janet November 23, 2013 - 10:39 pm

In the first close up shot, it looks like the amaryllis is part of the portrait. Your flowers are very beautiful. We have nothing growing here in Toronto Canada.

Marisa November 23, 2013 - 11:04 pm

I recently came across your blog and find it very charming,,and your pictures are very good new camera or not ,,your home is lovely,,and loving the arrangment of flowers..thanks for the lovely pictures,,

Dianne November 24, 2013 - 10:43 am

Hi Sharon, my heart skipped a beat when I read your generous giveaway. In honesty, it actually took my breath and me with it, whilst spontaneously dreaming up an adventure! I have signed up, checked details, and continue to love your posts. Thanks for the opportunity to enter your competition. Best Wishes Di

Karen (Back Road Journal) November 24, 2013 - 1:06 pm

Absolutely lovely…the warm pinks are beautiful and would certainly make you forget about grey skies.

Esther George November 24, 2013 - 2:01 pm

Hi Sharon may I say your photographs are superb, the subject absolute beauty…You won’t hear any complaints from me. Thank you for sharing. Regards Esther from Sydney. PS we have a tall Jacaranda tree in the front garden, we had very bad storms here and all the trees purple flowers are all over the lawn, it looks like purple snow…magic.

Bebe November 24, 2013 - 6:30 pm

Esther, I forget that jacaranda bloom season is directly opposite to ours, which is in May (earlier in the California desert). Some complain that they are messy. I believe that lovely lavender snow is quite wonderful.

Planning to plant one to replace a boring tree that was fatally damaged by heavy windstorms here a couple of years ago…

Michelle November 24, 2013 - 4:50 pm

I just came across your site a few weeks ago. I was in France last year for the first time. Long to go back. Thank you for your beautiful photos. I’m one of your subscribers now. Keep up the great work.

Bebe November 24, 2013 - 6:28 pm

Sharon, never EVER apologize for your photos. Your photos are very nice, no matter the camera…

If you doubt me, have a look:


Nib's End November 24, 2013 - 7:37 pm

I especially like the vase of ranunculus sans amaryllis with the foliage and berries. The color of them remind me of the quilts in your previous post. I’ve never seen rannunculas that shade. Can’t decide if I like them better than your cafe au lait dahlias. Good thing I don’t have to make a decision between them.

Jeanne McKay Hartmann November 24, 2013 - 8:13 pm

Gorgeous bouquet, Sharon. And I’m equally taken with the painting behind them, as well! Happy Weekend. XO

Nancy Cooper November 24, 2013 - 8:47 pm

beautiful as always. I’ve oohed and ahhed over your blog for several years.. don’t know why I haven’t subscribed before.

david terry November 25, 2013 - 10:35 am

P.S. It occurs to me that I (and, yes, I know Sharon) need to post a disclaimer at the BEGINNING of these “Worst Guest EVER” letters to Sharon. In short, they’re jokes…meant to amuse British-born Sharon.

“Dear Mme. de la Santoni,

These flower “arrangements” are, I suppose, somewhat charming( albeit in a regrettably provincial manner). Nonetheless, I find myself forced to say that, once my claim to your give-away has been publicly proclaimed and championed, these flowers will have to go. It shouldn’t be too difficult for you to simply throw these away and forestall purchasing any new flowers until you’ve received my little list of what I prefer to find (my preferences in food, pre-recorded music, bedding, etcetera) once I and all of my little dogs arrive to spend what I hope will be a pleasantly gratifying stay (gratis, mais bien sur) at “your” French Country Home

That said?….these flowers are not at all of a color which I happen to enjoy. Additionally, they look as though they might smell, and I do not enjoy smells which I have not personally selected. You will, of course, thoroughly sympathize with the fact that random smells over which I have had no control are among the many, many things which are utterly likely to bring on one of my raging headaches. My headaches are never pleasant for anyone even remotely involved with them. So, you will of course acknowledge the sheer necessity of WAITING to purchase new flowers until my little list of “Favorites” arrives.

Actually, it seems best to me that you vouchsafe your establishment’s credit-card number and expiration date to me, so that I might forward that information to my little secretary. She would thus be able to pre-order the flowers, wines, very specific bedding, various & dainty food items (I am, after all, a chronic invalid) I will be requiring at “your” French Country Home.

Perhaps she will, additionally, have the time (I do, after all, keep her Very Busy) to investigate some of the boarding insitutions to which you might send your children and dogs, so that I might have Perfect Peace during my little stay. As I wrote previously, I also and sincerely believe that this would be a good time for you to pack this so-called husband of yours off for a lengthy stay with his mother. There’s really no evident need at all for anyone to be present except for you and me, so that (without the usual, vulgar distractions of an uavoidably bourgeoise household) we might become the closest and dearest of friends. Or perhaps just friends….let’s not, given the incredibly vast gulf between our birth and social-rankings, set ourselves up for failure.

Well, I’m so glad to have cleared-up all of this. Now, we have nothing to do but to contentedly (on my part) and happily (on your part) anticipate MY WINNING (!) your give-away and thereby gracing “your” little house with a visit from me. I have already penciled in the months of January through April. I really can not stay more than three months.

I will be writing to Mme. de la Archer (that Australian, jumped-up minx who shamelessly styles herself “Vicki”) and the well-known co-habitationist (the most polite way of phrasing the wince-making matter of her domestic arrangements) and “travel writer” (a completely brazen affront to any decent woman who knows to Stay At Home), “Miss” Heather Robinson. Both would, I truly believe, benefit (both morally and artistically) from a prolonged visit by me to “their” houses. I love nothing more than to exposeTthe Deserving (if dowdy) to the benefits of a prolonged exposure to my person, exquisitely-refined tastes, and exemplary habits. This is what I believe is vulgarly referred to as a “win-win” dynamic for everyone involved, don’t you agree? I’m sure you will.

“See you soon?” (as I gather they say on the television-set?)….

Faithfully yours as ever,

The Rev. Dr. David C. Terry
Webb House
Hillsborough, NC

Pam@over50feeling40 November 25, 2013 - 11:05 am

I am a new subscriber! Found you through Vicki Archer and cannot wait to receive your posts every day. If you get a chance, please stop by my blog and say hello. Have a great week!

Rebecca Penovich November 25, 2013 - 2:53 pm

Just found your blog and am loving reading through the archives. What loveliness abounds! I found you through Vicki Archer also and am now a new subscriber to My French Country Home. Looking forward to reading more of your posts and seeing the beautiful photographs from your life.

Lyn November 26, 2013 - 10:46 pm

I like the lovely blues, although they are all very pretty.

Vicki November 27, 2013 - 2:25 pm

As I looked at the guest living room, my eye fell on the green glass bottles. Spring is green and yellows. I think it would be great to go with soft green and bright yellows. The yellow maybe in pillows for the couch and you could change to pink in early summer,if you wanted too.

Love your site. I live in a 100 year old French style vertical log cabin in Florida of all places. But they had very early settlers in our area south of St. Augustine (old city in Florida). Gets cold here in the winter mornings ,30’s, but usually warms up in the afternoon .



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